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SA mining production down 10.7% in 2020

South Africa’s 2020 mining production was 10.7% lower than in 2019 but was up 0.1% year-on-year in December.
SA mining production down 10.7% in 2020 SA mining production down 10.7% in 2020 SA mining production down 10.7% in 2020 SA mining production down 10.7% in 2020 SA mining production down 10.7% in 2020

PGM producer Sibanye-Stillwater is among the miners tipping bumper earnings

Staff reporter

The latest figures from Statistics South Africa are slightly above the impact industry body Minerals Council South Africa had predicted for 2020, of an 8-10% hit on production due to COVID-19 and the subsequent nationwide lockdown.

The figures showed a continuing annual decline in the country's mining production, with the 10.7% slump in 2020 following a 0.5% decrease in 2019 and a 1.5% drop in 2018.

The slight rise in December mining production, year-on-year, is likely due to mines being hobbled 12 months earlier due to unprecedented power outages.

Mineral sales were up 23.8% year-on-year in December.

Stats SA said the largest positive contributor was iron ore, up 59% and contributing 8.2 percentage points, followed by platinum group metals up 24.6% and 7.4 respectively.

The seasonally-adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices for the fourth quarter was 4.1% higher than for the third quarter.

South Africa-based PGM and gold producers have flagged the prospect of bumper earnings despite the impact of COVID-19, thanks to higher commodity prices and a weaker rand.

The JSE requires companies to provide a market update if financial results are likely to differ by at least 20% from the previous corresponding reporting period.